Legislators offer capital projects
University stands to get more than $94 million for capital projects
in the $1.6 billion plan unveiled Jan. 7 by two key House and
legislative plan introduced at a press conference two days
before the General Assembly session opened by Sen. John
H. Chichester (R), head of the Senate Finance Committee, and Del.
Vincent F. Callahan Jr. (R), head of the House Appropriations
Committee, provides for continuous funding to maintain and modernize
facilities through debt or general funds at the states colleges
and universities, as well as other state agencies.
Mark Warner, who was sworn in Jan. 12, did not endorse the plan
but said in his first address to the legislature the following
Monday, I understand the capital needs of our colleges and
But before I will support any specific bond
proposal, we must weigh the cost of its annual debt service in
the context of our overall financial plans.
$1.6 billion, seven-year package includes a general obligation
bond bill, requiring voter approval in November, that would finance
several of U.Va.s highest priority projects, including the
Medical Center research building known as MR-6, a new Arts &
Sciences building and the Engineering Schools nanotechnology/material
plan would also restore funding for projects previously frozen
by former Gov. Jim Gilmore about $8.5 million for construction
of the studio art building and almost $5 million for the new special
collections library, as well as an additional $5 million for the
Clark Hall renovation and $6 million to renovate Cocke Hall.
ensure that capital funds can be made available every year without
being subject to the current economic climate, the proposed bill
would set aside up to $250 million a year when revenue growth
is at least 8 percent, or substitute debt financing if needed.
John T. Casteen III said the plan would impose discipline
for capital spending and get rid of the impasse that occurred
in last years session. It would also depend on the new governors
Warner will need to match this proposal against his other priorities
and assess what impact it may have on his strategies to mitigate
the current recession and build a strong recovery, Casteen
Sheehy, U.Va. vice
president for management and budget, echoed Casteen, adding
that the legislators plan shows a willingness to make a
long-term commitment of resources for capital outlay.
the $1.2 billion dedicated to public colleges and universities,
$177.8 million would go to delayed projects, $169.2 million to
jumpstart projects that are ready to go, and $846 million to projects
recommended in six-year capital plans. The rest of the money would
go state parks, museums and other facilities.
the House and Senate coming together like this early in the session
thats a very positive thing, said Nancy Rivers,
U.Va.s director of state